Monday, August 12, 2013

Hungry for the Beautiful Things!!!

A telephone booth here in Brazil

This week I locked myself in a bathroom. I still do not understand how and I still get stressed out when I think about it. Here´s what happened: I went to the bathroom. I got up and tried to exit the bathroom. The door wouldn't open. So I stood there for about five minutes racking my brain for vocabulary I've learned about keys, doors, and bathroom. NOTHING!!! SO I started pounding on the door and yelling and my companion came running. The family of the house that we were in all got involved and for about 15 minutes, they were hollering at me what to do. I am so sorry but I have no earthly idea what you're talking about. Eventually I ended up chucking the key out the tiny window into the backyard weeds outside, and I was rescued! I have decided not to use bathrooms anymore in Brazil. 

I had a marvelous week. I was emergency transferred this week because of some things that happened in my last area, and I had 10 minutes to pack my life and get on a bus, wet laundry and all!! (This picture is of my zone leaders helping me onto the bus. The 60 lb suitcase also mysteriously broke, which is why he is carrying it on his head.) 

My new companion is a angel and my goal in life is to be her. She is so patient with me and the language, and tells me every day how much she loves working with me. She gives me more responsibility than most days I think I can handle, and this week made me explain the commandment ``Thou shalt not kill`` in a lesson. What? I get frustrated to the point of tears almost everyday in companion study, because she makes me practice speaking over and over and over again. She looks at me calmly and tells me to relax and follow the Spirit. She always makes me talk first to people, and we found many people to teach this week because they are interested in what an American is doing in Brazil:)
                                Why, let me tell you!!!

We found a family this week because I felt like we should knock on the door. Actually that's a lie. We found a family this week because the house was a bright color and I'm like a child who likes shiny things and got excited and ran to the door and started clapping.

My gosh, they are prepared for the gospel. I absolutely love them all, and we set a baptismal date for them in two weeks. The house is tiny and filthy and they are the kindest people in the world. I love asking people the question: What importance does God play in your life? because without fail, they sail ``Everything.`` So it is with the family of Louis Fernando and Tonya:) God is everything to them because they have nothing else. They know that everything we say is true, and they want to be baptized. I don't think I've ever felt as much joy in my life as I did when they accepted our invitation.

We taught another family. The mom was super distracted and not paying attention to anything when I recited the First Vision with all my heart. I asked her afterwards who she thought appeared to Joseph Smith, and she said she didn't know. I started to repeat the first vision and out of no where, the little 4 year old sitting next to her mom and staring at me intently said: ``Deus.`` I was overwhelmed with the Spirit. Yes, yes God did appear to Joseph Smith, you are exactly right. Everyday my testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is strengthened through the people I meet.
Just happy to be here...

We are teaching 2 other families who are ready for baptism EXCEPT the parents don't want to be married. I am so grateful I watched the Wedding Planner 25 times before I came on my mission, because me and my companion are about to plan a couple of weddings!

I asked another investigator this week if he had prayed about our message. He said no, but he had prayed about which church was the closest and had definitely received his answer. HAHAHA WHAT?! He said it so smugly, like he had discovered the mysteries of God. I burst out laughing. I am so happy that you have received the answer on which church is the closest distance to your house. 

Bringing stickers to Brazil was the best idea I've ever had. I give them to everyone, and everyone is obsessed with them. I can't speak your language, I really don't like your food very much, but have a sticker!

I seriously am in love with Brazil. My companion and I walked a lot this week, and ran when we were running behind, and talked with a lot of people. We sang hymns walking down the street and started teaching an 84 year old woman who I started talking to on the street. (She likes our church but is scared of what her friends will think if she joins. Haha darling you've got bigger things to think about. Like meeting God tomorrow.) 

Last night on our way home we ran into a man asking for money. He had no arms, and my heart just broke for him. He was crying and asking for anything, any help. I asked him if he was hungry and he said yes, and I asked him if he liked to read and he said yes. I told him that we don't have much money on missions, but we have something so very much better:) I gave him an apple and a Book of Mormon and we talked to him for a long while. He kept crying and saying ``thank you for talking, thank you, please come visit me more, please help me.`` I asked him if I could say a prayer, and it was one of the most fervent prayers I have ever said. I'm quite certain my Portuguese grammar was terrible and I don't know if it was understood. I was quiet all last night, (which is rare,) because I was so sad that people have hard lives. My favorite part of missionary work is meeting people who are broken and who are hungry for the beautiful things somehow I've been blessed enough to know. 

I love love love this work, and can't quite grasp how enormous it is. This is the work of Jesus Christ, I have no doubt of that. This is His church, and I know that it is true. 

All my love plus a little!
Sister Brooks

My First Friend in Brazil

Me on a Freaky Little Bridge
that made me feel like Indiana Jones
in a skirt:)

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